Trick-or-treating will probably remain on Oct. 31 in Lexington, despite suggestions to move it this year to avoid a busy Saturday when tens of thousands of visitors are expected in the city.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be that Saturday at Keeneland, and the University of Kentucky football team will play Tennessee at Commonwealth Stadium.
The influx of out-of-town visitors and traffic on Oct. 31 prompted at least one council member to request during a Tuesday council work session that the city move trick-or-treat to Oct. 30.
"I don't want to read a headline that a child has been hit by a car," said at-large council member Richard Moloney. He said people use neighborhood streets around Commonwealth Stadium to get to UK games. Game time is not expected to be announced until two weeks before the game.
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Jamie Emmons, Mayor Jim Gray's chief of staff, told the council during Tuesday's meeting that there was no alternative date to have the city's Halloween celebration.
"There is not a good night that weekend," Emmons said. "Any night is going to be challenging."
Emmons said in an interview Wednesday that Keeneland, the host of the Breeders' Cup, had requested several months ago that the city consider moving trick-or-treat times. Emmons said city officials will have one more meeting to discuss the issue, but it's highly unlikely that Lexington's trick-or-treat date will be moved.
Keeneland did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Breeders' Cup races are Oct. 30 and 31. On Friday night, there are lots of high school football games. Although high school kids don't trick-or-treat, many have younger siblings who do, city officials said.
"It's either UK football on Saturday night or high school football on Friday night," Emmons said.
The city has tried to move trick-or-treat to other days besides Halloween over the past 25 years — and it has been a political nightmare.
In 1992, when Halloween was on a Saturday, the city planned to hold the celebration Friday to avoid a conflict with UK's homecoming game.
When city leaders realized that day was the start of the Jewish Sabbath, they switched the celebration back to Oct. 31.
More recently, in 2013, the city had to move trick-or-treating to Nov. 1 because of the threat of a storm on Halloween. Even though an indoor trick-or-treating event was held Oct. 31 at Fayette Mall, parents flooded city hall with calls, complaining about the rain date.
Emmons said there has been talk in previous years of passing an ordinance establishing Oct. 31 as the official trick-or-treat day in Lexington, but an ordinance never passed.
"We have talked to the police about this, and they are in agreement," Emmons said. "The best thing that we can do is put out public service announcements encouraging children to wear bright reflective clothing and for motorists to be aware of trick-or-treaters."